Microsoft Confirms Zune Music Devices

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Microsoft has confirmed that the company plans to launch portable music and media devices under the brand name Zune. Although details of any specific products are very sketchy, the announcement is being viewed by the industry as Microsoft finally stepping up to the plate to challenge the market dominance of Apple’s iPod portable music and video players. The move is a long time coming: Apple introduced the iPod in late 2001.

According to Microsoft, the first Zune device will be a music player sporting hard drive-based storage and, like the MusicGremlin’s Gremlin MG-1000, will offering Wi-Fi based connectivity and song purchasing. Microsoft plans to leverage the Zune’s wireless capabilities to communicate with other Zune users, share playlists, recommend tracks, and potentially share music with one another. Zune users will be able to exchange data with other Microsoft platforms such as the Xbox 360 and devices powered by Windows Mobile, although no specifics have been revealed.

Microsoft has not set a launch date for the Zune player, and has not revealed pricing information or how Zune and its related download service will interact with the company’s existing music offerings, including MSN Music and the new Urge partnership with MTV. Also unclear: Zune’s relationship to Microsoft’s PlaysForSure initiative, how the Zune will interact with non-Microsoft music services like Napster and Rhapsody, or whether songs purchased for the Zune will be transferrable to other devices. One thing is reasonable certain: the Zune will not be compatible with tunes purchased from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, nor will protected tracks purchased for the Zune work with Apple’s iPod/iTunes platform.

Industry talk os positioning the Zune as Microsoft’s attempt to create an “iPod killer,” but some see the company’s Zune initiative as less of a threat to Apple as it is to companies making portable music players already trying to compete with the iPod. Those companies

Emerging Tech

Earth’s magnetic field is shifting, vital map can’t be updated due to shutdown

The Earth's magnetic field is moving, effecting navigation systems of all kinds. A model of the field should have been good until its scheduled update in 2020, however, it has moved so quickly that an update is required much sooner.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Gaming

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

Scientists debate mysterious flash of light in space, known as ‘The Cow’

On June 16, 2018 there was an unusual flash in the sky which puzzled astronomers around the world. NASA researchers have been collecting data on the event and have shared two competing theories for what could have caused it.
Emerging Tech

Brightest quasar ever seen discovered by Hubble, may be star-producing machine

The brightest quasar even seen has been observed with the Hubble Space Telescope using a technique called strong gravitational lensing. The quasar is enormously energetic and may be producing thousands of stars per year.
Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.